War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0625 Chapter XXIII. ENGAGEMENT AT WEST POINT, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Many instances of heroism amongst the officers and men have been brought to my notice, but where they are so numerous the report must be necessarily incomplete.

I cannot close this report without making honorable mention of the gallantry and efficiency of my staff, Captain James E. Montgomery, assistant adjutant-general; Lieuts. Samue. W. Waldron, jr., and William Russell, jr, aides-de-camp, and Captain James K. Scofield, commissary, who were actively employed during the day in transmitting my orders through the heaviest fire.

Captain Montgomery in transmitting orders, had his horse shot under him and was made prisoner by the Hampton Legion, from whom he afterward escaped.

The enemy committed inhuman barbarities upon some of the wounded. One was found with his throat cut, and another bore the marks of eight bayonet stabs in his body.

I have no means of ascertaining correctly the force of the enemy. We know, however, that it was at least General Whiting's division, including the Hampton Legion. Besides this a large body of the enemy at least 20,000 strong, were supporting the attacking force.

The attack which they made was evidently with a view to prevent the division molesting their line of retreat from Williamsburg to Richmond, and to drive us into the river if they obtained the advantage.

The battle lasted from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The gunboats rendered efficient service by throwing shells into the enemy at a distance of 2 miles.

From coincidence of reports received before and after the battle there is no doubt that this was a well-planned and desperate attempt on the part of the enemy.

I omitted to mention that Captain Gilmore, who commanded the three companies of the Sixteenth New York engaged, has received the commendation of his superior officer for the skill and gallantry displayed during the action.

Besides the mangling of bodies the enemy is reported on reliable authority to have rifled the persons of the wounded and dead of all articles was not only repelled in his attempt upon our position, but at the end of the day we occupied with our troops a position in advance of that held at the commencement of the action.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier General, Commanding Right Wing General Franklin's Division.

Captain E. SPARROW PURDY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 9. Report of Colonel John Gosline,

Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry.


Brick-House Point, Va. (near head of York River),

May 8, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the following in regard to the engagement of yesterday, 7th instant, in which this regiment took part: